The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -- Edmund Burke
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Gun crimes- the answer- a gun registry and blame the Americans -pretty feeble attempts to protect Canadians on their watch
"Nationwide, 78.59 percent voted for the charter while 21.41 percent voted against, the commission said. The charter required a simple majority nationwide with the provision that if two-thirds of the voters in any three provinces rejected it, the constitution would be defeated."
Some people forget that the government didn't eliminate the deficit- the taxpayers did.Also
What happens when politicians become out of touch with reality- jobs for everyone is a worthy goal-in the meantime what are they doing to keep killers
off the streets now- not 10 years from today.They already had 10 years and ducked the issue and passed the buck- nothing has changed except the body count has risen. The killers have no fear of the justice system- repeat, the killers have no fear of the justice system because it has coddled them for years.The emphasis with governments is giving out more tickets for parking, speeding etc ,registering guns,rising property taxes-but not keeping serious criminals off the streets.Why the focus on honest, hardworking citizens while giving the crooks a free ride? .
"Mayor David Miller spent a busy morning yesterday, scouring the city for jobs for youth from high-risk neighbourhoods rocked by gun violence this past summer and fall.
At a breakfast event, he invited 50 big-business leaders to sign up for his "business opportunity" -- the chance to be part of his $3-million Community Safety dream, er scheme"
"Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee was supposed to focus long-overdue attention on the single most important factor in the future course of the War for the Free World: Which side is Saudi Arabia on? Unfortunately, the press of other business has caused this most timely of hearings to be postponed.
The reason this question deserves urgent attention should be obvious: Since November 2001, there has been a roughly three-fold increase in the price of a barrel of oil, from $18 to as much as $70. As a result, Saudi Arabia -- which currently exports about 10 million barrels per day -- receives an extra half-billion dollars every day from oil-consuming nations."
Mr. Steven Fletcher (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said this past June that his government had “brought in all of the scientific evidence, all of the medical experts, in order to establish very clear benchmarks by the end of this year”.
The Prime Minister called this process urgent, and I agree, but obviously the Prime Minister and his health minister no longer share this sense of urgency.
If the government had all the evidence this past summer, why is the minister now backpedalling on his benchmark promises?
Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the fact is that 13 ministers of health gathered in Toronto for the last two days and reaffirmed in a very robust fashion the commitment of the first ministers to the health care accord of 2004, which means that we will have benchmarks in all five areas by December 31, 2005. That is within two months.
I want to tell the hon. member, the fact is that your party wants to gut the Canada Health Act, wants to privatize health care and wants to end the federal role in health care. Now you are telling me that we are not--
The Speaker: The minister of course will want to address his remarks to the Chair and not suggest that the Speaker's party is involved in anything. The hon. member for Charleswood St. James—Assiniboia.
Mr. Steven Fletcher (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the minister would be well advised to remember that it is his leader who uses private clinics.
The Prime Minister said in June, “We've set out very, very clear timelines in which these benchmarks are going to be established. We insist that those timelines be adhered to”.
The Prime Minister and the premiers agreed to have meaningful benchmarks in place by the year's end in five key areas. Now the provinces are saying that not all the benchmarks will be in place by the deadline.
Will the Prime Minister admit that under a Liberal government Canadians will have to wait a very, very long time for medically necessary—
The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Health.
Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the fact is that we will have benchmarks in all of the five key areas agreed upon by first ministers by December 31.
The fact also is that Preston Manning and Mike Harris want to end the federal role in health care. The fact is that the current Leader of the Opposition also wants to end the federal role in health care.
I want to know what those members' position is on our role. We are playing a federal role, a very strong federal role, which they want to end.
* * *
Mr. Peter Van Loan (York—Simcoe, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this past weekend three young people were brutally murdered in the Toronto area. The citizens of the city are feeling increasingly fearful and helpless. In one incident, a drive-by shooting, stray bullets flew. We are lucky that this time innocent bystanders escaped injury or death.
According to one resident, “this place is like a shooting gallery”. He is right. This weekend's gunfire brings Toronto's murder toll for the year to 64. Forty-four of those deaths were from gun crime, a record number. Toronto is on pace for a 400% increase in gun deaths since 1998.
Why has this government done nothing for years as violent crime grew out of control?
Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we have engaged in a number of initiatives. We now have a tripartite package of reforms which will be introduced. The first will be amendments to the Criminal Code, the second by way of law enforcement, and the third by way of community and educational and economic initiatives.
Mr. Peter Van Loan (York—Simcoe, CPC): Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the government's legislation. Police tell us that much of this violent crime in Toronto is related to a growing drug culture, yet this government is still advancing legislation to decriminalize the use and some production of marijuana. A Liberal senator has even called for legalization of hard drugs.
Is it any wonder that criminal activity is rising when this Liberal government tells young Canadians that drug use is okay? Parents already have enough challenges trying to raise children without this government telling their youngsters that drug use is all right. Will the minister commit to withdrawing his reckless and dangerous plan to decriminalize the drug use that is fuelling the escalation in violent crime today?
Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member is mischaracterizing the legislation, which clearly states that drug use remains illegal even under the decriminalization and which was the unanimous recommendation of members of a parliamentary committee, including members of the party opposite.
We have also put this issue on the subject matter for the meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers of justice.
* * *
Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Frank Brazeau, the secretary of a local Liberal association and a public servant, used his influence to secure $1 million in contracts for the Liberal member of Parliament for Pontiac. The KPMG auditing firm has found irregularities in contracts totalling $15 million also given by Mr. Brazeau.
Will the Prime Minister release KPMG's report now? Otherwise, what is he trying to hide?
Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Minister for Internal Trade, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this matter is now before the Ethics Commissioner, as members well know. The member for Pontiac has committed to making the results of whatever the commissioner says public. I would hope that members opposite would wait for a response from the Ethics Commissioner before commenting further.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this is more stonewalling.
A Liberal riding secretary used his influence to direct almost $1 million in contracts to a Liberal member of Parliament. Both men are close friends and ardent loyalists of the current Prime Minister and both have been lavishly rewarded for it. A KPMG report found that more than $15 million saw irregularities in the way it was handed out in the form of contracts.
Why will the Prime Minister not immediately release this KPMG audit so that taxpayers can know just how much he has been rewarding his Liberal friends?
Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first of all, the review—and it is not an audit, it is a review—was commissioned by the department as part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen competition and to increase accountability.
The fact is that these contracts with the company were cancelled as a result of this review, but it is important to recognize that in all cases services were received for taxpayers' dollars and that in fact there were valuable services provided by the company. Furthermore, there has been disciplinary action taken against this employee.
* * *
Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, last year's Deloitte & Touche audit of Canada Post revealed that Andre Ouellette had paid himself enormous sums of money as pork-master general and he did not even bother to provide receipts. David Dingwall may be the prince of pork, but André Ouellet is still the king.
The government promised a complete audit of the office of André Ouellet more than a year ago. It begs the question, what is the government hiding here? If the Liberal government can come up with a whitewashed Dingwall audit in three weeks, why does it need more than a year for the André Ouellet audit?
Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, on the subject of audits, I understand that the hon. member is carrying out his own audit of Mr. Dingwall, so there are now three.
We have two other audits going on. We have the Auditor General who wrote four months ago that the systems and practices of the Mint are designed and operated in a fashion which provide reasonable assurances that assets are safeguarded and controlled. We have a third auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, which will be reporting.
So I ask, who is more credible, the Auditor General, PricewaterhouseCoopers, or that gentleman over there?
Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is too bad the revenue minister cannot impersonate the revenue minister as well as our leader can.
The revenue minister is responsible for overseeing a tax system that should apply to all Canadians equally, but no other Canadian, not one, would get away with what André Ouellet has gotten away with. Government documents reveal that the revenue minister has known for over four months that André Ouellet will not provide receipts. He has done absolutely nothing about it. It is shameful. I want to ask him one question. Why?
Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the statements of the hon. member are false, but since he mentioned the Leader of the Opposition, let me just suggest that in view of his performance on Saturday, when eventually he steps down from his present position, perhaps in a decade or two, and when he speaks to his young grandchildren 20 years hence as to his greatest achievement in politics, my guess is he will say, “My greatest achievement was imitating John McCallum in question period”.
The Speaker: I think the minister meant, of course, the Minister of National Revenue.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Mr. Guy Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, throughout this Parliament we have seen a steady parade of shocking abuses of taxpayers' money. Today there is another scandal. Managers of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation have held lavish receptions, racked up exorbitant travel and dining expenses, and taken boat cruises, all paid for by the Canadian taxpayer.
CMHC is supposed to provide affordable housing for low income Canadians, not lavish entertainment for its own managers. When will the government stop helping itself to taxpayers' money and start helping Canadians in need?
Hon. Joe Fontana (Minister of Labour and Housing, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I think I addressed this question earlier.
I appreciate the concern of the member. All crowns need to make sure that they act with care and frugality. Even though there are rules, regulations and guidelines provided to all board members of all crown corporations, including CMHC, I indicate to all of them that we have a higher standard to abide by, and that is the standard of the public and the Canadian taxpayer. We have made that known to them.
Mr. Guy Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, CPC): Here we go again, Mr. Speaker.
Liberal mismanagement now extends to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: lavish receptions, expensive meals and even boat cruises, and all at the taxpayers' expense. In Canada, two million families cannot find decent housing. This government continues to put its own interests ahead of those of needy families.
How does the Prime Minister explain these extravagant expenses this time?
Hon. Joe Fontana (Minister of Labour and Housing, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this government has a very comprehensive housing policy, unlike that party. Since 1999 we have put $1 billion toward our homelessness initiative which we will renew, $2 billion in commitments made to affordable housing across the country, and an additional $1.6 billion with regard to new initiatives on affordable housing and social housing.
CMHC is doing the work of this government. That is to make sure that we listen to people, provide housing and move, unlike that party that has no—
Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the report to the Security Council on the bombing murder of the former president of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri, has now been released. Our suspicions have been confirmed. Clearly the dictators in Damascus are implicated. Syria has tried to rule Lebanon for decades and now that it has been forced to withdraw, it is still trying to diminish the hopes of the Lebanese people.
Has the foreign affairs minister called in the ambassador from Syria and what exactly did he say to him following this report being released?
Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is clear that we take that report very seriously. The hon. member is absolutely right that we have to make sure that the Security Council is totally seized of the content of this report. Syria has serious answers to give to the international system. It is imperative that Syria provide some answers.
When I was there in February, I met with the Syrian leadership. At that time I said that that country had to withdraw from Lebanon. It is absolutely unacceptable that that country would try to continue to have any say in the future of Lebanon, which is now making its own destiny and future.
Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the United Nations investigative report has clearly indicated that the Syrian regime was involved in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister El Hariri. Yet the minister has neither met with the ambassador nor spoken to him.
Why is this? And will he indicate the retaliatory measures he will be recommending to the government?
Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government takes very seriously the investigative report into the possibility of Syrian involvement in the assassination of Mr. El Hariri in Lebanon. This is a matter of great concern to us. We hope that the Security Council will immediately examine this report, which we take most seriously.
It is obvious that Syria must answer for its actions and there is no doubt that it must respond to the accusations made public in this report. Canada will be following this situation very closely.